Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Million Dollar Quartet
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2015-12-30

This article shared 5211 times since Wed Dec 30, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Book: Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux; Score: Various. At: Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6100 or www.milliondollarquartetlive.com; $25-$95. Runs through Jan. 17

Hey procrastinators! Million Dollar Quartet, officially "Chicago's longest-running Broadway musical," is closing up shop in the Windy City after running more than 3,000 performances in seven years.

Yet Million Dollar Quartet didn't officially become a Broadway musical until 2010. Inspired by the 1956 December night in Memphis, Tennessee, when rock legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together for a studio jam session at Sun Records, Million Dollar Quartet debuted regionally in 2007 at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington, and also played Florida's now-defunct Seaside Music Theater.

Yet it was the successful and critically acclaimed Chicago launch of Million Dollar Quartet in 2008 at the Goodman Theatre that truly put the musical on the map. Producers soon transferred the show for an open-ended run at Chicago's 450-seat Apollo Theatre.

A concurrent New York production of Million Dollar Quartet came next in 2010, giving the show an official Broadway label. Out performer Levi Kreis won a featured actor Tony Award for his portrayal of the surly and ambitious Jerry Lee Lewis. The musical transferred off-Broadway to save on production costs in 2011, and almost lasted an extra year there.

I'd previously seen Million Dollar Quartet off-Broadway, but missed it in Chicago. It's still playing like a better-than-average jukebox musical, with just enough drama involving narrating Sun Records founder Sam Phillips ( Andy Ahrens ) trying to keep his remaining stars signed to his scrappy and pioneering label. This plot framing device keeps the show from becoming a celebrity impersonation revue.

Yet what truly impresses about Million Dollar Quartet is how it deploys skilled actor/musicians to rock out in the starry roles. There were no slouches performance-wise between Brandon Bennett as Elvis Presley, Colte Julian as Jerry Lee Lewis, Adam Lee as Johnny Cash and Shaun Whitley as Carl Perkins. Zach Lentino and Patrick Morrow consistently offered great and youthful backing support respectively on bass and drums, while veteran cast member Kelly Lamont returned to offer a smart and sultry take on Elvis' fictionalized romantic love interest, Dyanne.

Now if only Kai Harada's blaring sound design was toned down. Many of the show's lyrics are garbled, and there's a whiplash effect from all the volume shifts between the dialogue and over-amplified songs.

Once Million Dollar Quartet closes in Chicago, the show will live on via its Las Vegas engagement and the current non-Equity national tour before regional productions start cropping up. So see this long-standing part of Chicago theater history while you can locally, even if earplugs might be advisable. You'll also get the chance to personally ponder why the Windy City embraced this show for so long.


This article shared 5211 times since Wed Dec 30, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

New York theaters bounce back: Four shows ask questions about identity 2022-11-22
- All theater critics worth their salt should take a bite of the Big Apple now and then, savoring the bright lights of Broadway and a soggy slice of what passes for pizza. On my first visit in nearly three years, Broadway ...


Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance 2022-11-15
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner 2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

Mister International Rubber takes the stage at Center on Halsted, Riviera Theatre 2022-11-07
- The MIR26 (Mister International Rubber) competition took place at the Center on Halsted and the Riviera Theatre over the Nov. 4-6 weekend. Pusckatt Pumera Onyx won the competition. The event was co-emceed by Lucy Stoole and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...


Gay News

Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love' 2022-10-29
- The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Golden Girls' holiday special Nov. 26-Dec. 30 2022-10-27
- Hell in a Handbag Productions is in The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, The Obligatory Holiday Special, playing Nov. 26-Dec. 30 at The Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Dorothy, Rose, ...


Gay News

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' to take place Dec. 22-24 2022-10-26
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. The production will play for six performances on Dec. 22-24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells ...


Gay News

16th Street Theater to close at the end of the year 2022-10-26
- The board of Berwyn's 16th Street Theater announced that the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Equity theater company will close at the end of 2022. A statement read, "For 15 inspiring seasons, plus two years of the pandemic, ...


Gay News

Cody Estle to step down as Raven Theatre artistic director 2022-10-24
- Raven Theatre's board of directors announced that Cody Estle will step down as the company's artistic director at the end of November. Estle has been the company's artistic leader since 2017. He will join Milwaukee's Next ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more 2022-10-24
- —COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...


Gay News

Chicago Theatre Week 2023 to take place Feb. 16-26 2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago—Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW23), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatergoing in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place Feb. 16-26, 2023. ...


Gay News

'Lady Day,' 'Rock of Ages' part of Mercury Theater Chicago's 2023 season 2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago — Mercury Theater Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Kristi J. Martens and Executive Producers L. Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizon announced the 2023 Mercury Theater Chicago season ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf offering free performances of '1919' on Nov. 1-5 in Chicago parks 2022-10-19
- Steppenwolf for Young Adults' (SYA) will bring its world-premiere adaptation of 1919 to audiences across Chicago this fall for a series of free performances through the Chicago Park District's "Night Out in the Parks" initiative. The ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.